Read about the latest happenings of the Community-led action to replenish and revitalise the health of the Waihi Estuary, Bay of Plenty.
Meet our Lighthouse Farmers: James and Donna Wilkins
In 2005, after nine years of running an irrigated dairy and cropping operation in Australia, James and Donna returned home to farm in the Pongakawa catchment. The family now have a spring calving dairy herd currently transitioning to autumn calving on 75 ha with 18 ha of kiwifruit. Read More >
Know your soil
Understanding and monitoring soil moisture is critical if farmers and growers are to maximise production, reduce water use, and minimise nitrogen losses.
People who farm have always been keen observers of the land. It’s a skill that’s essential for responding to the day to day. It’s also essential for preparing for the future. The world is changing fast and farming is needing to change too. Honing our skills to read our landscapes has never been more important than now.
Looking forward, all farmers and growers are required to have a Land Environment Plan (LEP) by 2025. Wai Kōkopu sees LEPs as a vital tool to help farmers and growers through a thought process which evaluates the things they are doing with their current property resources. It is hoped LEPs will also assist in stretch thinking around future practices that will replenish the land and water, while protecting the asset for future generations.
2021 was a big year for the team, our farmers, our community, and our funders. We are proud of what we have achieved together. Every milestone we reached was made possible due to the support and hard work of people wanting to create change for good.
Why it’s important to test your drinking water and how we can help
Clean, safe drinking water is obviously a key part of the body’s health and the health of our community. In recent years, concern has been raised about the effects of nitrate (a form of nitrogen) in drinking water on people’s health.
If you want to make sure your drinking water is safe, contact us today for nitrate testing. You can read more about the importance of testing for nitrate levels
By Alison Dewes Wai Kokopu is a community organisation with a vision to restore health to the catchment from Rotoiti and Rotoehu, to the Waihi Estuary. The catchment’s four sub-catchments, from largest to smallest are: Pongakawa, Kaikokopu, Wharere, and Lower Catchment (estuary).
If you have a farm over 80 hectares, or a dairy farm with a milk supply number, or a cattle feedlot as defined in the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater, you will need to meet some requirements. Read more >
Leaders do the Right Thing
By Alison Dewes
Most farmers I have been lucky enough to deal with, want to do the right thing and be good stewards. The Tomorrow’s Farms Today group I studied for my MSC, in the Upper Waikato between 2010 and 2014, tried to do the right thing by seeking to understand what farming systems had a lighter footprint – on water, climate, people and animals. Read more here >
Getting started on your Land Environmental Plan
By John Burke, Wai Kōkopu governance group
A Land Environmental Plan (LEP) will likely be required by all farmers and orchardists by 2025. The LEP will need to identify all environmental issues and risks pertaining not just to commercial production but to all land contained within the title boundary and its impact on the immediate and surrounding environment. Read more >
In the Media
Banks urged to step up on land-use change funding
An ex-rural banker and farm environment group trustee is calling on banks to dig deeper to support their farmer clients needing funding to help meet government freshwater standards and offset their farm’s carbon footprint. Read more >
Let's Look to the landscape
People who farm have always been keen observers of the land. It's a skill thats essential for responding to the day-to-day. Read more >
A pan-sector Farm Environment Plan that caters for all land use under the same umbrella is the goal of Bay of Plenty catchment group Wai Kōkopu. Wai Kōkopu chair, dairy farmer and orchardist, Andre Hickson, wants to see landowners treated equally and fairly using sound science. Read more >
Recording your history to model your future
Sally Lee has been a skilled FARMAX user for many years, using FARMAX not only for her own farm, but in a consulting capacity as well. Read more >
No more cows but double the returns
Keeping it simple is the guiding philosophy for Reporoa farmers Euan and Sarah McKnight. They told Steve Searle that it has led to a sustainable and profitable operation. Read more >
$1m upgrade for polluted Bay of Plenty estuary
A badly degraded estuary, that was once the main food bowl for the coastal Bay of Plenty, is set to get a $1 million upgrade. BayTrust is committing the funds over the next three years to the effort to restore the Te Waihī estuary. Read more >
Te Waihi estuary clean up ideas sought
Wai Kokopu, made up of tangata whenua, landowners, environmental care groups, Maori agribusiness, residents and ratepayers, is committed to replenishing and revitalising the health of the estuary between Maketu and Pukehina. Read more >
$1m upgrade for polluted Bay of Plenty estuary
The trust said in a statement that unimpeded farm development and intensification of land use over time has led to the estuary's gradual decline. It's now considered one of the five most polluted estuaries in New Zealand. Find out more >
The Waihī Estuary clean-up group says working with farmers is vital
Wai Kōkopu, a group made up of tangata whenua, landowners and environmental groups with funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), is working to replenish Te Waihī estuary which is known as one of the most polluted in the country. See more from our latest planting day.